Senator Risch Introduces NDAA Amendment To Establish US-Somaliland Defense Partnership

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U.S. Senator James Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, last month introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2022 (FY2022) National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA to establish a security and defense partnership between the United States and Somaliland which is separate and distinct from any security and defense partnership with the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The amendment suggests that this partnership should include coordination with Somaliland government security organs, including Somaliland’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces.

“The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall conduct a study regarding the feasibility of the establishment of a security and defense partnership between the United States and Somaliland.  Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and other relevant Federal departments and agencies, shall submit a classified report to the appropriate congressional committees that contains the results of the study required under subsection,” says the amendment

Excerpts of the text of the amendment can be read below

AMENDMENT

Amends Bill: H.R.4350 — National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022

Sponsor: Sen. Risch, James E. [R-ID] (Submitted 11/04/2021)

Purpose: S.Amdt. 4505 — 117th Congress (2021-2022) (Except Text)

Full Text of Amendment as Submitted: 11/04/2021 S7999-8000

TEXT OF AMENDMENT

SA 4505. Mr. RISCH submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 3867 submitted by Mr. Reed and intended to be proposed to the bill H.R. 4350 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022), to authorize appropriations for the fiscal year 2022 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the end of subtitle F of title XII of division A, add the following:

SEC. 1264. FEASIBILITY STUDY ON SECURITY AND DEFENSE PARTNERSHIP WITH SOMALILAND.

  1. Defined Term.– In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—
    1. the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
    2. the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;
    3. the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; and
    4. the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.
  2. Feasibility Study.–The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall conduct a study regarding the feasibility of the establishment of a security and defense partnership between the mass protests in cities around the U.S. against an executive order that would block millions of people from entering the United States and Somaliland that—
    1. is separate and distinct from any security and defense partnership with the Federal Republic of Somalia;
    2. includes coordination with Somaliland government security organs, including Somaliland’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces;
    3. determines opportunities for collaboration in the pursuit of United States national security interests in the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden, and the broader Indo-Pacific region;
    4. identifies opportunities for United States training of Somaliland security sector actors to improve professionalization and capacity; and
    5. is separate and distinct from any security and defense partnership with the Federal Republic of Somalia.
  3. Report to Congress.–Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and other relevant Federal departments and agencies, shall submit a classified report to the appropriate congressional committees that contains the results of the study required under subsection (b), including an assessment of the extent to which—
    1. opportunities exist for the United States to support the training of Somaliland’s security sector actors with a specific focus on counter-terrorism and maritime security;
    2. Somaliland’s security forces have been implicated in gross violations of human rights during the 3-year period immediately preceding the date of the enactment of this Act;
    3. the United States has provided, or discussed with Somaliland government and military officials the provision of, training to security forces, including–
      1. where such training has been provided;
      2. the extent to which Somaliland security forces have demonstrated the ability to absorb previous training; and
      3. the ability of Somaliland security forces to maintain and appropriately utilize such training, as applicable;
    4. a direct United States security and defense partnership with Somaliland would have a strategic impact, including by protecting the United States and allied maritime interests in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and at Somaliland’s Berbera Port;
    5. Somaliland could–
      1. serve as a maritime gateway in East Africa for the United States and its allies; and
      2. counter Iran’s presence in the Gulf of Aden and China’s growing regional military presence; and
    6. a direct United States security and defense partnership would—
      1. bolster security and defense cooperation and capabilities between Somaliland and Taiwan;
      2. further stabilize this semi-autonomous region of Somalia as a democratic counterweight to destabilizing and anti-democratic forces in Somalia and the wider East Africa region; and
      3. impact United States capacity to achieve policy objectives, particularly to degrade and ultimately defeat the terrorist threat in Somalia posed by al-Shabaab and the Somalia-based Islamic State affiliate ISIS-Somalia.
  4. Rule of Construction.–Nothing in this section, including the conduct of the feasibility study under subsection (b) and the submission of the classified report under subsection (c), may be construed to convey United States recognition of Somaliland as an independent state.

Notes

H.R.4350 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022

Sponsor: Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9] (Introduced 07/02/2021)(by request)

Committees: House – Armed Services

Latest Action: Senate – 12/02/2021 Considered by Senate.

This bill authorizes FY2022 appropriations for military activities and programs of the Department of Defense (e.g., personnel; research, development, test, and evaluation; and procurement of items such as aircraft, missiles, and ammunition). It also prescribes military personnel strengths for FY2022.

S.Amdt.3867

Sponsor: Sen. Reed, Jack [D-RI] (Submitted 10/21/2021, Proposed 11/19/2021)

S.Amdt. 4505

Sponsor: Sen. Risch, James E. [R-ID] (Submitted 11/04/2021)

Text of the amendment can be found here.

From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

About Senator Jim Risch

RISCH, James, a Senator from Idaho; born in Milwaukee, Wis., May 3, 1943; B.A., attended the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 1961-1963; B.S. in Forestry, University of Idaho, 1965; J.D., University of Idaho College of Law, 1968; Ada County, Idaho, prosecuting attorney, 1970-1974; Idaho State senator, 1974-1989 and 1995-2003, serving as majority leader (1976-1982), and as president pro tempore (1982-1989); lieutenant governor of Idaho, 2003-2006 and 2007-2009; governor of Idaho, 2006; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 2008; reelected in 2014, and again in 2020 for the term ending January 3, 2027; chair, Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (One Hundred Fifteenth Congress), Committee on Foreign Relations (One Hundred Sixteenth Congress).

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